Charlie Chaplin vs Buster Keaton
It is hard to compare to great actors just as it is hard to compare two sportsmen. Both Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton are considered to be greatest actors of the silent film era. They both helped the movie industry by making funny and popular films. Both were actors with own inimitable styles and both directed their own films. They had contrasting styles to make people laugh. Where people found the deadpan face of Buster after everything went wrong amusing, Charlie on the other hand with his facial expressions reactions to situations made people laugh uncontrollably.
Buster acted in films that had more violence whereas Charlie produced laughter with his situational comedy in daily life situations. Chaplin’s movies had more of a plot and were full of human reactions and emotions. There was much more physical comedy in Buster’s movies. While Buster showed no emotions and had a deadpan face, Charlie reacted with funny expressions to all situations in his films. Buster was referred to as The Great Stoneface while Charlie was very emotional and his body language and facial expressions conveyed his feelings much more than dialogues would, today. Buster relied more on physical comedy whereas Charlie Chaplin’s films had a storyline and it is his emotions that made people laugh.
The trademark gait and his silly expressions made Charlie immortal in the eyes of those who have been privileged to see his films. Buster experimented with colors and added an orange tint to one of his films (7 chances). Chaplin conveyed the story with his actions and continued with silent films even when sound arrived in films. He made only one film with sound. In the simplest of words, the acting styles of these two comedians of silent era can be compared by saying that while Buster aimed for Physical Comedy, Chaplin aimed for Expressive Comedy.
Some other, more obvious differences between these two stalwarts are as follows
Chaplin vs Buster
• Chaplin was a British actor, while Buster was American
• Chaplin wore a bowler hat while Buster wore a pork pie hat
• While Chaplin retained ownership of his films initially, he was a rich man; Buster sold his films and struggled with his finances
• Chaplin once directed Keaton in Limelight, whereas Keaton never got a chance to direct Chaplin
• Chaplin married thrice with little girls, whereas Keaton married 3 adult women